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Fire Reduces Critical Food Access for Low-Income Families in Burnaby/New Westminster

September 2, 2021, hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, sḵwxwú7mesh, and Qayqayt unceded territories/Burnaby/New Westminster, BC – On Monday morning of this week, Quest Market, a non-profit grocery store based on the Burnaby-New Westminster border that serves families and individuals facing economic barriers, nearly went up in flames when a neighbouring business suffered a fire.

No one was injured and Burnaby Firefighters were able to put out the blaze quickly, but not before damage was done to the community-serving market. Smoke-covered food now lines the shelves, waiting to be composted or thrown away. There is no word yet when the market will be able to reopen.

“We’ve lost everything in the market, all the food, and we’re likely to be closed for months” says market manager, Cecilia Mindrut.

According to Quest Executive Director Theodora Lamb, “This fire could not have come at a worse moment. Back-to-school season is a critical time for families who are meal planning and thinking about how to ensure good nutrition is a part of their family life. Families and individuals who face economic barriers in Burnaby are now going to be without the fresh produce from BC farms, the bread, the protein, and all of the other staple items that Quest is able to provide.”

Burnaby is one of five Quest market locations across the Lower Mainland, open seven days a week. In 2020 alone, Quest’s Burnaby Market served 2.5% of Burnaby’s population with over 30,000 member visits.

“What we need now are two things,” says Lamb.  “A temporary location and funding support to help make it happen. We’re going to be looking at how we can partner with others to create a pop-up shop for our members. For folks who want to support food security for families who need it the most right now, we are asking you to visit Questoutreach.org.”

About Quest Outreach: Quest Outreach Society exists to break the cycle of poverty through access to healthy and affordable food. By bridging the gap between food banks and traditional grocery stores, Quest provides a grocery experience based on principles of dignity, good nutrition, and affordability. Almost all of Quest’s food is donated by local food partners from across British Columbia, redistributed to our five Lower Mainland markets, and delivered at little cost to our members. Quest’s five grocery markets are located in Burnaby, Surrey, North Vancouver, East Vancouver, and the Downtown Eastside. For more information visit Questoutreach.org.

Testimonials

Nicole

Thank you for supplying healthy juices at an affordable price as my kids are affected by a health condition and those juices have helped his

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Riley

I like this store. I went there when the Covid-19 was happening. They were putting on gloves and using hand sanitizer. I was happy to

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Selena

I’m just so thankful that your store stayed open through this Covid-19 pandemic. When I went to shop they were so thorough and operated like

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THANK YOU to our Foundational Supporters

The backbone of Quest’s success has been all of the amazing support from the organizations below who have gone above and beyond in their assistance to help build our foundation. Every bit of assistance that we receive means that one less individual will go to sleep at night thinking about where the next day’s meal will come from.

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Markets Opening hours and locations

Vancouver - 2020 Dundas Street

Tel: 604-602-0186
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday: 9am – 5:45pm
Saturday: 9am – 3:45pm
Sunday and Holidays: Closed

Vancouver - 611 E. Hastings

Tel: 604-605-0735
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday: 9am – 5:45pm
Saturday: 9am – 3:45pm
Sunday and Holidays: Closed

Surrey - 13890 104 Avenue

Tel: 604-588-3476
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday: 9am – 5:45pm
Saturday: 9am – 3:45pm
Sunday – 12am – 4pm
Holidays: Closed

Burnaby - 7753 6th Street

Burnaby Market Temporarily Closed.

Tel: 604-553-0636
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday: 9am – 5:45pm
Saturday: 9am – 3:45pm
Sunday – 10am – 3pm
Holidays: Closed

North Van. - 167 1st Street East

(Market Entrance from Lolo Lane)
Tel: 604-566-0110
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday: 9am – 5:45pm
Saturday: 9am – 3:45pm
Sunday and Holidays: Closed